New Study Confirms E-Cigarettes to Be As Harmful As Tobacco for Oral Health
For many people, puffing cigarettes every now and is the preferred mode to relieve stress, activate their creativity or feel better. However, it is a well-known fact that smoking is detrimental to both one’s physical and mental health. Therefore, instead of reaching for a cigarette every time one wants to vent some steam, it is important to find ways to break the cycle and lead a tobacco-free life.
A 2016 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), revealed that cigarette smoking, which accounts for more than 480,000 deaths every year, or 1 of every 5 deaths, in the U.S. is the leading cause of preventable diseases and death in the country.
To combat the ill-effects of tobacco smoking and help people quit the habit, electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes were launched in the market. They were touted as safer alternatives to cigarettes. However, a 2016 study led by Irfan Rahman, Ph.D., professor of environmental medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in New York, revealed that e-cigarettes could do more harm than good. In fact, they could be more damaging than conventional cigarettes.
According to the study, published in the journal Oncotarget, e-cigarettes can harm the mouth cells, causing mouth cancer, tooth decay and gum disease.
What are e-cigarettes?
E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices with an inbuilt mechanism to vaporize the liquid held in a container. This vaporization occurs when someone “puffs” on the device. The resultant vapor is then inhaled by the user.
According to the CDC, there has been remarkable growth in the use of e-cigarettes during 2015, with 16 out of every 100 high school students reportedly using them 30 days prior to the survey.
E-cigarette vapor damages gum tissues
As part of the study, gum tissues of nonsmoking individuals were exposed to e-cigarette vapor, containing either tobacco (with 16 milligrams of nicotine) or menthol (with 13–16 milligrams of nicotine or no nicotine).
It was found that vapors emitted by e-cigarettes damaged gum tissue cells much more than tobacco smoke did. While nicotine is known to contribute to gum disease, the e-cigarette flavoring was found to worsen cell damage caused by its vapor, said the researchers. The menthol-flavored vapor was found to cause the maximum harm. However, further research is required to understand the long-term effects of e-cigarettes.
“Overall, our data suggest the pathogenic role of [e-cigarette] aerosol to cells and tissues of the oral cavity, leading to compromised periodontal health,” noted the researchers.
Help is just a call away
Drug addiction is a serious problem in the U.S. Drug abuse and the resulting problems ultimately affect the growth and welfare of a nation. However, there are multiple treatment options to deal with this chronic disease. Finding a support group, talking to family or friends, and consulting a physician can help one recover from this addiction. Tobacco has a high potential for abuse and addiction, therefore, many people find it easier to get hooked on to it than any other illegal drug.
If you know someone who is addicted to tobacco, or any other substance, the Florida Drug Addiction Helpline can help. In case you would like to know about the drug rehab centers in Florida, or connect with one of the best addiction treatment facilities in Florida, call our 24/7 helpline 855–982–2401, and our representatives will be happy to help you.